MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Three of the five Miami Beach police officers who were charged after allegedly using excessive force during arrests at a Miami Beach hotel two months ago will have their charges upgraded to felonies.
Officer Kevin Perez and Sgt. Jose Perez will be charged with third-degree felony battery.READ MORE: Miami Police Investigate Bomb Threat
Officer Javier Serrano, who is also accused of writing a false police report about the incident, will be charged with a count of official misconduct, which is a third-degree felony.
The new charges will be officially brought before a circuit court judge next week.
“The Miami Beach police department has been made aware of the upgraded charges. We remain committed to the process and allowing the investigation to take its course,” said Miami Beach police Chief Richard Clements.
“All aspects of this July 26th police incident are taken very seriously by my prosecutors,”
said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a statement. “The investigation has been and will be as thorough and complete as possible since our entire community has been shocked and offended
by what we have seen.”
The two other officers charged in the investigation, Robert Sabater and David Rivas, still face misdemeanor battery charges.
Police say it all started when officers spoke to 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup about how he had illegally parked his scooter near 9th St. and Ocean Court early in the morning of July 26. They say he fled and struck an officer who had to be hospitalized and tried to strike another officer. He was pursued to the Royal Palm South Beach hotel.
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That’s where surveillance camera video shows him dashing into an elevator. The video shows an officer ordering him at gunpoint to come out of the elevator.
A total of 22 officers converged at the hotel and that’s where excessive force was reportedly used to take him into custody.
Video of the arrest reportedly shows Officer Kevin Perez kicking a handcuffed Crudup in the head at least four times as he lay on the ground. Officer Jose Perez is accused of kicking him three times.
Excessive force was reportedly also used on Khalid Vaughn, a bystander who shot video of the arrest on his cellphone. He too was arrested.
Officer Robert Sabater is accused of running at Vaughn and tackling him. Sabater, Rivas, and Serrano are accused of then punching him repeatedly.
Crudup was originally charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding police. Those charges were reduced to fleeing and eluding police, and reckless driving.MORE NEWS: Vendor Sold Nazi Gear At Florida Motorcycle Rally
Charges against Vaughn of resisting an arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation were dropped.